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Corrosion spots found in coolant channels of Kakrapar reactors

nationpaper Updated: Jul 03, 2016, 07:18 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

CHENNAI: India’s atomic energy regulator has said unusual corrosion spots were found in the coolant channels in the power reactors at Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) owned by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).

“During the ongoing inspections in KAPS units, unusual indications of corrosion spots were noticed in the coolant channels,” Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) said in a statement on Friday.

“How these have been formed and whether these are linked to the failure is being checked and it can fully be established after the failed channel is removed and examined,” the statement added.

On the morning of March 11, the first reactor at KAPS shut down automatically following leakage of heavy water from its coolant channel. The leak was plugged ten days later.

According to AERB, as its regulatory focus is on operating units to assure their safety on priority, it had asked for inspection of coolant channels of other units to rule out the possibility of similar corrosion.

“The inspections done so far in different reactors indicate that presence of local corrosion spots on coolant channels is specific to KAPS units alone and no evidence of this phenomenon is seen in other reactors inspected so far,” AERB said.

“We studied the pressure tubes and leak detection systems in all other PHWRs in the country and found them to be satisfactory. We didn’t find anything amiss in them that might result in an incident similar to that happened at Kakrapar,” Shiv Abilash Bhardwaj, chairman of AERB, had said on June 30.

Once the actual cause of corrosion is identified, then other aspects like quality of metal, fabrication process and others will be looked into, officials said on Saturday.

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